The other day I got a new car.

Leading up to that purchase I was knee deep in car research.  Different makes, models, features.  Lots to take in.

Now, I am not a car person.  I’m not someone who notices vehicles, can tell models apart or anything like that.

But, when I was focused on car research - I was noticing everything!  All of a sudden I was seeing every model I was considering everywhere I went!

I noticed this phenomenon when I was trying to get pregnant too.

Seemingly out of nowhere I was constantly surrounded by pregnant women.  At the mall. At the grocery store.  They were everywhere!

This got me thinking - and reflecting.  If our vision is so driven by our focus on the big things - could it possibly be impacted by the so-called small things as well.

And I think I can confidently say a resounding YES.

What you focus on - big or small - shapes your world.

Focused on the negative things in life?  Your brain will literally filter OUT the positive things!

This happened in my marriage for a season.  There was some pent up hurt and bitterness infecting my heart and I started to see all the ways Terry annoyed me and got on my nerves.  

It happened subtly at first.

A small thing here or there that I would allow to ruminate in my mind.

But pretty soon all that I could see was the ways Terry was supposedly failing me.

And it was turning my heart hard.

Is there an area in your life where your heart is hardened?  Where is your vision being obstructed by what you choose to focus on?

Maybe you feel stuck in misery in your role as a mother.  Or perhaps you're stuck in the belief that only bad things happen to you.

Can I lovingly suggest that perhaps you have trained your brain to filter out the GOOD as you have latched on to the bad?

I realized that my marriage issue was a focus issue for me in many ways.

So I started to intentionally change my focus.

I started to make a daily list of things I was grateful for and appreciated about Terry.  And I would tell them to him.

At first it was hard to see past my initial focus.

But slowly, as I worked at noticing the GOOD, more good appeared.  

This is a practice that I have adopted in every aspect of my life.

It doesn't mean that bad things don’t happen.  And it doesn’t mean I can’t grieve the sadness that happens from time to time.

It does mean that my world is not being shaped by the negative anymore.

My vision is actually clearer now.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18